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SANTA ROSA FUND

NEWSLETTER
Issue 32, November 2008
Registered Charity No. 1028085

20 Anniversary of the
Santa Rosa Fund
th

Cutting the cake: Margaret Edwards, representing the early days of the Santa Rosa Fund and Doug Specht,
one of 2007‟s volunteers at the school in Managua, representing the most recent face of the Fund.

Twenty years ago, the first steps were taken to establish a link between the Santa Rosa School in
Nicaragua and Southway School in Plymouth, UK. Nobody envisaged then that those steps were the
start of an enduring development organisation, the Santa Rosa Fund.
Many things have happened to the link since then, but it has endured, and this September the Santa
Rosa Fund celebrated its 20th anniversary. Photographs from the twentieth anniversary celebrations
are shown on the next page.

SRF Newsletter November 2008, p.1

A selection of photos from the anniversary event
in Tavistock, featuring (clockwise from top left):
4 of the current SRF trustees; supporters enjoying
the event; Kate and Manooch who won the raffle;
Jenny Keegan; the Bere Ferrers singers; the All
Change singers; Pippa Williams; the SRF
chairman Pete Mayston addressing and
entertaining the throng.

SRF Newsletter November 2008, p.2

20th Anniversary Celebration
As you can see from the photos on the previous two pages, the Fund’s 20th Anniversary Celebration was
enjoyed by one and all. It was not intended as a fund-raising event, but rather a celebration of the Fund’s
twenty years of support for, solidarity with and work with our partners in Nicaragua. We did, however,
manage to raise £231 on the night plus another £235 through donations made specifically for the
anniversary. The £231 raised were made up of a magnificent raffle (won by Kate and Manouch) which made
£103 and £128 from ticket sales after all expenses had been met. The raffle prize, the cake and many other
items were generously donated by trustees of the Fund.
We should also thank all the entertainers, that is Jenny Keegan and Pippa Williams, the All Change group of
singers and the Bere Ferrers Five. The food was provided by Jane Osborne of Food Dreckly, and excellent it
was too. Thanks also to our stand-up comedian - or was it our chairman? – Pete Mayston, the M.C. for the
night; and a bravery award should go to Frances Legg for daring to wear the Nicaraguan folk dress donated
to the Fund by the Santa Rosa School in Managua. Our organising committee for the event was made up of
Pat Blower, Frances Legg and June Mowforth, and we are extremely grateful to them all for their efforts.
Many, many thanks to all who attended on the night and all who made special donations for the event.

Reports from our partner organisations
in Nicaragua
The Berriz Sisters and Projects in the Cosigüina Peninsula
As reported in Issue 30 of the SRF Newsletter (November 2007), the Fund changed its policy for 2008 so
that instead of making specific donations for specific projects in the Cosigüina Peninsula we made a blanket
donation of $7,000 (US dollars) to the Berriz Sisters for the educational work that they carry out in the
region. Below we give extracts of the translation of the report we received from the nuns in September this
year detailing the projects that our money was used to support. (The report was compiled by Sister Rosario
specifically for the Santa Rosa Fund.)
REPORT OF ACTIVITIES CARRIED OUT THROUGH THE EL VIEJO RECREATION CENTRE
2008
Group of Friends of Holland (FAH) scholarship holders
The group of FAH scholarship holders has monthly meetings on the first Sunday of every month. These young people
are trained with the support of the Recreation Centre‟s Youth Promotion Club. In some cases these youths are
organised in such a way that they train themselves with the advice of the Recreation Centre management. The primary
aim is to create a space in which they can relate to each other and to discuss issues which help them to develop in an
integral way with a conscience and awareness of the different problems facing youth and society. They have held
sessions on: discrimination; youth addictions; and environmental conservation. They have also arranged other
activities such as sporting mornings and cultural acts. This group began its activities on the 3rd February and since
then has had no interruptions to its programme of events.

SRF Newsletter November 2008, p.3

Monitoring of FAH scholarship holders‟ volunteer opportunities
This refers to the monitoring of the social volunteering activities of the FAH scholarship holders. It is a group of
youths from all over the municipality who benefit in their studies and who give a return to society for this help by
working with people of different abilities. It‟s very important to mention that the support that these youths give is vital
for this work. It‟s also very important to make clear that this support by these youths is not just done for the sake of
complying with the scholarship requirements but is also a way of helping them relate to other people, to face new
experiences and to mature as individuals.
The monitoring is done by means of a twice yearly report to verify the conduct of the work, attendance, and any
difficulties which may have arisen.
Childrens‟ groups from the estates on the outskirts of the town [of El Viejo]
These are childrens‟ and teenagers‟ groups which operate in the outskirts of town in the colonias [estates] of Entimo
Andino, 20th June, Villa España and Friends of Holland School. It aims to attract children and teenagers and to give
them the tools which will help them to form different expectations of life. Various activities and talks, adapted to the
particular age groups, are provided with an emphasis on dynamism and energy to ensure that they don‟t get bored
with the meetings. As well as the talks, activities such as the Day of the Child are celebrated and sporting mornings
are held.
These groups are supported by a group of FAH scholarship holders and by the Youth Promotion Club (YPC). The
groups began in March and the only times they have not been held have been on days which have coincided with
public holidays, festivals or other activities in the Recreation Centre.
Accompaniment with the Youth Promotion Club (YPC)
This group has members who run the process, but they also need the accompaniment of a person who can, with the
members, coordinate and develop activities related to sports, culture and development in different spheres of activity.
It is considered important to hold workshops for these leaders in order not to let the process stagnate – they too can
continue with their personal development. The YPC functions as coaching sessions every Friday afternoon, on
traditional sports days and on other days with other specific activities.
It is worth mentioning that my role in these activities is that of coordination and accompaniment. For this purpose it is
necessary to be very close to the process to ensure good development and that matters proceed as planned. My
support and the support of all the others who are involved directly or indirectly are vitally important for the smooth
and normal continuation of events.
The above reports were produced by William Vargas Díaz, Coordinator of the El Viejo Recreation Centre, Sept. 2008

PRE-SCHOOL COMMUNITY OF VILLA ESPAÑA
The community pre-school in Villa España now continues with teacher Verónica Treminio Alvarado. During this
school year (2008) various difficulties have been experienced owing to the socio-economic reality of the country and
the hike in the price of food. People are able to cover less and less of their basic necessities. For these reasons
attendance at the pre-school has fallen off a little. At times mothers do not send their children to school because they
don‟t have clothes or because there is no food.
As well as taking the classes, Verónica has concerned herself with the childrens‟ attendance and dedicates some
mornings to visiting the families in order to stimulate attendance at the pre-school.
The pre-school has been supported with the following materials: plasticine, educational games, scissors, cleaning
materials (brush and mop), a medical cabinet, a ream of paper, card, markers and crayola, and batteries for the tape
recorder.

SRF Newsletter November 2008, p.4

VILLA ESPAÑA LIBRARY
The library in the Rosario Mayorga School in Villa España opens from 8 am to 11 am and from 2 pm to 5 pm. It
supports the teachers in providing access to materials which they need such as reference books and information
sheets amongst others. It caters for students from first to sixth grades during both morning and afternoon sessions;
and it is also open to secondary students from other nearby communities such as Los Kilómetros, Colonia Unidad,
Emigdia Catín and others.
For the Rosario Mayorga School it has provided support to 360 pupils with the following materials: backpacks,
exercise books, pens, pencils and rubbers. For the teachers: a ream of bond paper, scissors, marker pens, exercise
books, pens and glue.

COORDINATOR OF THE COSIGÜINA YOUTH CENTRE
The work of the coordinator of the Cosigüina Youth Centre has been maintained thanks to the support of the Santa
Rosa Fund. From January to May Carla Betanco held this post, but due to her pregnancy she had to leave the
responsibility of this post. After discussions amongst the group of youths, Diana Sánchez assumed responsibility as
coordinator from the beginning of June.
Since she began work as the Youth Centre coordinator, things have been very active and Diana has organised several
activities with the youths. Thus far she is managing the centre well, looking to hire it out to other institutions for
workshops, offering a photocopying service, and hiring out rooms to tourists who visit the volcano.
Children and Adolescents Group in the Community of Cosigüina
Fortnightly meetings are held with this group on the first and third Wednesdays of each month. Due to the constant
changes which the community of Cosigüina experiences, it was seen as necessary to change the group of youths who
were very unreliable and to move to a group that was large and which had few alternatives available to them. This
group has been working since May and is currently very lively. It should be mentioned that because this group is new
it has been necessary to re-start work on themes such as self-esteem and the development of values. … Since this
group‟s work began there have been no problems other than (on occasions) the transport problems of getting there for
the facilitator who travels from El Viejo.

JOSÉ CORONEL URTECHO SCHOOL

In the José Coronel Urtecho School in the rural comarca [parish] of
Venezuela, 125 pupils (some shown in the photograph) have benefited
with the following educational materials: backpacks, exercise books,
pens, pencils and rubbers. The pre-school pupils in the same school were
also supported in similar fashion.
We are infinitely grateful for your support and solidarity with the work carried out by the Mercedarias Misioneras de
Bérriz and the Friends of Holland Foundation in the municipality of El Viejo. The reality of this country is very
complex and difficult because at times the global reality does not allow us to see much hope owing to the fact that this
system is so structured to ensure that the rich nations stay rich.
However, we are convinced that the work that we are doing, and in which you also participate, generates change and
new alternatives for the people even though at times those changes may seem small.
Report produced by William Vargas Díaz, Coordinator of the Recreation Centre [El Viejo] and Sister Lilliam Miranda
Quezada and reviewed by Sister María Rosario Castañeda Ramírez

SRF Newsletter November 2008, p.5

The Quincho Barrilete Association – Street Children in Managua
The following is a translation of the report received from the Quincho Barrilete Association in September.
Translator’s notes:
1. There is probably quite a lot of overlap between all the figures presented in this report.
2. The acronym C&T for children and teenagers has been used partly because in her report the director of AQB uses NNA
to signify ‘niños, niñas y adolescentes’ and I wanted to give you a taste of the original report.
3. Anything enclosed in straight brackets [], I have added for further explanation.

In 2008 the Quincho Barrilete Association (AQB) completed 17 years of work with Nicaragua‟s children and
teenagers (C&T). In order to guarantee the sustainability of the children[„s lives] when they leave AQB, we have
designed an intervention strategy and a protocol which offers better results in reinserting the boys and girls [into
family and society]. As part of this care for the C&T and their families, the following services have been provided:









Support and monthly follow-up at the colleges and schools in which the children and teenagers are placed
for:
o 122 C&T remaining at school
o 103 C&T in school and library reinforcement [I think that means not remaining at school]
o 359 C&T in vocational work in the hammock workshop, baker‟s workshop, kitchen, beauty salon
o Similar work with the families with the aim of strengthening the family nucleus.
Our legal team has provided 650 legal advice and accompaniment services including denouncements, birth
certificates, advice re. food allowances, property problems, training on the Law of Parental Responsibility.
Denunciations regarding the sexual violation of several of the C&T who we serve have been lodged and we
give follow-up through the judicial system for the conviction of those who commit these violations.
Psychologically we have provided:
o 948 C&T in advice sessions (individual, group, self-help group, family therapy, etc)
o 746 sessions of crisis intervention and direction towards individual therapies
o 6 self-help groups have operated in which the teenagers have expressed their thoughts and emotions
working out their trauma generated by sexual violence
o For 433 families we have made home visits for family follow-up, group activities for the affected,
delivery of other incentives and the formation of „Family Schools‟, all with the aim of improving
relations between parents and children, and holding four family meetings.
1342 cases of medical attention (general and specialised). These include attention to the offspring of
adolescent mothers as well as the C&T themselves.
We have strengthened prevention work with the Ministry of Education and community leaders who send
sexually exploited C&T to us. We have managed to include these in our integrated care system and most of
them attend educational activities and technical training in the Association‟s Centre for Integrated Care.
A training programme run by the Mother‟s Club has been designed by AQB along with the Mother and Baby
Clinic Health Centre of the Ministry of Health. It is designed to support all pregnant teenagers.
8 sessions of the Integrated Programme of Educational Development have been run, led by the families. 82
families attended and the themes covered were: self-esteem in the family, basic health, HIV-AIDS,and others.
816 home visits have been carried out to the families of the C&T aiming to improve awareness of the
procedures for making denunciations/accusations, increase participation in the process of giving care to
C&T, and as follow-up to the plans for family bonding and integrated care for under age people.
To guarantee the provision of all the services to the families we have developed collaborative arrangements
with both private and governmental institutions.
In coordination with the Centre for Health Studies and Research of the National University (CIES UNAN),
AQB held a specialised course on „Integrated Protection for Victims of Sexual Violence and Sexual
Exploitation, with emphasis on STDs, HIV and AIDS‟. 44 people attended, all persons who daily attend to
victims of sexual violence.
At the community level we have managed to involve teachers and community leaders in the production of
plans for prevention particularly in estates and areas where the risk of sexual violence is greatest.

María Consuelo Sánchez, Executive Director, Quincho Barrilete Association, Managua, September 2008
SRF Newsletter November 2008, p.6

Informal Communications with the Santa Rosa School
The trustees of the Santa Rosa Fund are in regular email contact with both René Zamora, our representative
in Managua, and Gill Holmes who acts as an IT advisor to both the Fund and the School. We are also
pleased to report to our supporters that recently we have begun to receive email communications from
members of the staff at the school. This may seem unremarkable but is particularly pleasing because it
reflects a growth in the perceived importance of computers and computing at the school, a development in
which the Santa Rosa Fund has been instrumental. The School does not yet have an email facility at its site,
but no doubt the demand for this will grow over time.
In September we received an interim report from René giving us some detail about the monthly purchases he
makes for the school with the Santa Rosa Fund money.
“Purchases depend on the needs of the moment, but there are various items which always
take priority, such as lead pencils of which on average we buy three boxes of 12 pencils
every two months. Other articles which take some priority are acrylic markers [for the
whiteboards] of which on average we buy about 40 each time we make a purchase. Also we
buy small exercise books and university exercise books, the former for the pupils and the
latter to enable the teachers to plan their lessons and classes. They also ask for items like
wall staplers, black pencils for corrections, other materials like card, graph paper, sticky
paper, glue, and silicon guns, amongst others. …”
René
A few days later we received the following from Mayra Auxiliadora Calderón Ordeñana, formerly the
librarian and now a secretary at the school [extracts only]:
“A bank by the name of HSBC which recently opened operations in Nicaragua has
donated 275 text books – they are used but in good condition. Also the Banco Procredit
has donated some rubbish bins and some benches for use by the pupils at break-time. …
The Pre-School children won 1st and 2nd prizes in dance and poetry at a Pre-School
Festival on 9th and 10th September and are now going to take part at the national level on
10th October.
The Ministry of Education currently provides rice, beans, cooking oil, corn and cereal for
the pre-school and primary school children, and the parents cook it with great
enthusiasm.”
Mayra
And in July and October we received short messages from María Elizabet Aragón Roa, the new
headteacher at the school. She expresses her “wish that the Fund and the School will work
together for the good of the children.”
María
Two photos of the PreSchool children from the
Santa Rosa School during
their performance at the
Pre-School Festival in
September.

SRF Newsletter November 2008, p.7

Miscellany
Enclosure
With this newsletter you will find a subscription renewal form. If you already give regularly with a standing order or
have donated recently to the Fund, please ignore this and use the reverse side for your telephone pad. Otherwise, we
would be really grateful if you would consider renewing your support for the educational and poverty alleviation work
that is done by the Santa Rosa Fund by completing the enclosed form and returning it to the address given on the
form.
Many thanks.

Website news
By the time you receive this newsletter we hope that the Santa Rosa Fund website will have received a new breath of
life and will be somewhat more complete and more user-friendly than we had previously promised. There are still
pages that have to be developed, but this reflects the increasing number of projects that we currently support and the
fact that we depend entirely on voluntary workers. We would not wish to employ a webmaster or web whiz kid who
can do it all for us, but we do have the help of Brad Waters who runs his own website design business and who has
charged us nothing for his help. So its development will be slow. But visit it anyway – www.santarosafund.org

DVD sales
Many thanks to Doug Specht, one of the Santa Rosa Fund volunteers at the Santa Rosa School in Managua during
2007. The DVD he made of his experiences in Central America (and particularly at the school) is almost sold out; and
at the 20th Anniversary event Doug presented the Fund with a cheque for £245. The sales were shared between the
Fund and ENCA, the Environmental Network for Central America, which received a similar cheque.

Developments in Nicaraguan education
As well as all the bad news we have recently been hearing about human rights abuses, persecution of nongovernmental organisations and a rising dictatorship in Nicaragua, it is worth noting that there are currently many
developments in Nicaraguan education, health and poverty reduction that should be recorded on the balance sheet.
Earlier this year, for instance, as well as the Ministry of Education’s distribution of 6,000 tons of rice, beans, corn, oil
and cereal to 9,000 pre-schools and primary schools, the Ministry of Health carried out a vaccination programme in
9,579 neighbourhoods and communities aimed at children under 13, followed by house-to-house visits. Supporters
who are keen to learn more of the complex situation in Nicaragua can consult several articles and papers posted on our
website under the page entitled ‘Education in Nicaragua’.

SANTA ROSA FUND CONTACTS
Chair:

Pete Mayston, Rose Cottage, Tuckermarsh, Bere Alston, Yelverton, Devon PL20 7HB
Tel. 01822 840297
Email: mayston@waitrose.com
Secretary:
Lorna & Martin Legg, Rock Cottage, Morwell Cross, Gulworthy, Tavistock, Devon PL19 8JH, Tel.
01822 833934
Treasurer:
Pat Mayston – as for Pete (above)
Twinning links representative: Rick Blower, Cloberry Cottage, Brentor, Tavistock, Devon PL19 0NG
Tel. 01822 810600
Email: r.blower@btinternet.com
Membership secretary: Martin Mowforth, 51 West St., Tavistock, Devon PL19 8JZ
Tel. 01822 617504
Email: mmowforth@plymouth.ac.uk

PRINTED ON RECYCLED PAPER
SRF Newsletter November 2008, p.8